Australian Business Number (ABN)
The Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11-digit identifier that makes it easier for businesses and all levels of government to interact. Entities can be businesses, charities, not for profit clubs, societies and associations.
To be entitled to an ABN, an organisation must be one or more of the following:
§ a company registered under the Corporations Act 2001
§ an entity carrying on an enterprise in Australia
§ an entity that, in the course or furtherance of carrying on an enterprise, makes supplies that are connected with Australia
§ a government entity
§ a non-profit sub-entity – for Goods and Services Tax (GST) purposes
§ a superannuation fund.
A non-resident entity may also be entitled to an ABN where if they are carrying on an enterprise in Australia and/or, in the course of carrying on an enterprise, the entity makes sales that are connected with Australia.
In most cases the ABN is the statistical unit used to represent businesses and for which statistics are reported. In these cases it is equivalent to the legal entity. For more significant and diverse businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical needs, the statistical unit used is the Type of Activity Unit (TAU).
Australian Business Register (ABR)
The Australian Business Register (ABR) is the data store containing details about businesses and organisations that have registered for an ABN. More information can be found on the ABR website.
Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR)
The ABSBR is a register of all Australian businesses maintained by the ABS for the purpose of producing statistical frames and business demography outputs. It contains identifying and classificatory data for each business. Information to populate the ABSBR is largely sourced from the ABR.
The ABSBR consists of two subpopulations, the profiled population and the non-profiled population. The ABSBR uses an economic units model to describe the characteristics of businesses and the structural relationships between related businesses. For details, refer to paragraphs 5-9 of the Explanatory Notes.
Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)
Businesses have been classified according to their description of activities. Businesses are coded to industries in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06) which is a classification system for grouping producing businesses (of both goods and services) in Australia and New Zealand to permit comparability of data. Within ANZSIC, there is a structure comprising four levels ranging from industry division (broadest level) to the industry class (finest level). For more information, users should refer to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).
Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)
The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (cat. no. 1270.0.55.003) brings together in one framework all of the regions which the ABS and many other organisations use to collect, release and analyse geographically classified statistics. The ASGS ensures that these statistics are comparable and geospatially integrated and provides users with a coherent set of standard regions so that they can access, visualise, analyse and understand statistics. The ASGS has been used for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics since 1 July 2011.
An updated ASGS was released in July 2016 to account for growth and change in Australia's population, economy and infrastructure. It incorporates the territory of Norfolk Island for the first time due to an amendment to the Acts Interpretation Act, 1901, Norfolk Island has been included in the 2016 ASGS as an SA2 under the category of 'Other Territories'. CABEE uses this updated ASGS for geographical outputs.
In terms of business counts data, the base unit of the ASGS will be the Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2). Please refer to section entitled 'Statistical Area Level 2' in this document for further information.
For the purposes of Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits (CABEE), a business is defined as a legal entity engaging in productive activity and/or other forms of economic activity in the market sector. Such entities accumulate assets on their own account and/or hold assets on behalf of others, and may incur liabilities. The economic activities of individuals are excluded (except where individual engages in productive activity either as sole traders or in partnership).For more information on the ABS definition of a business, users should refer to Information Paper: A Statistical View of Counts of Businesses in Australia (cat. no. 8162.0).
In line with this definition, the business counts in this release are derived from the ABSBR. The starting point is all economically active entities in Australia. From here, various entities are excluded, such as those without an active ABN, those without an active Goods and Services Tax (GST) role, those no longer actively remitting GST and those not operating in the market sector. These exclusions aim to ensure that only those businesses that are actively trading in the economy are included in the counts. Please refer to Conceptual and Practical Basis for Counts for further information.
The statistical unit referred to as a business consists of ABNs from the non-profiled population and Type of Activity Units (TAUs) from the profiled population.
Business Activity Statement (BAS)
Business Activity Statements (BAS) are reports that businesses lodge with the ATO on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. They include the amount the business earned, the amount of GST collected, the amount of GST credits on goods and services purchased, pay as you go (PAYG) tax instalments and other tax reporting obligations. The ABS uses data from BAS statements to determine turnover and employment size ranges.
A business entry is defined as a business that is actively trading on the ABSBR at 30 June in the reference year but was not actively trading at 30 June the previous year. A business entry occurs when; a business registers for an ABN with a GST role, a GST role is allocated for an existing ABN, a business recommences remitting BAS data after a period of becoming a Long Term Non Remitter (LTNR) or recommences its GST role after it had been cancelled. A business entry is also included in CABEE when a business moves between the profiled and non profiled populations. Business entry rates are calculated by taking the total business entries during a financial year, dividing by the total businesses operating at the start of the financial year, then multiplying by 100. For details, refer to paragraph 24 of the Explanatory Notes.
A business for which the ABN or GST role has been cancelled and/or which has ceased to remit GST for at least five consecutive quarters (or three consecutive years for annual remitters) is considered a business exit. A business exit is also included in CABEE when a business moves between the profiled and non profiled populations. Business exit rates are calculated by taking the total business exits during the financial year, dividing by the total businesses operating at the start of the financial year, then multiplying by 100.
It should be noted that a business exit event does not necessarily equate to a business failure. For details, refer to paragraph 25 of the Explanatory Notes.
Client Activity Centre (CAC)
The Client Activity Centre (CAC) is the level where all client contact with the ATO happens. For small businesses that have registered for GST purposes only, the roles may be included in one CAC. The ATO determines how best to set the structure up for reporting purposes.
Each ABN has at least one CAC attached to it, from which tax obligations are assessed. They can have a number of roles with each role representing a specific taxation obligation. There are eleven different roles:
§ DAFG - Diesel and alternative fuels grant scheme (invalid from July 2003)
§ DCIP - Deferred Company Instalments Payer
§ DGST - Deferred Goods and Services Tax
§ EGCS - Energy Grants Credit Scheme (valid from July 2003, replaces DAFG and DFRS)
§ FBTI - Fringe Benefits Tax Instalments
§ FTCG - Fuel Tax Credit Grant
§ GSTP - Goods & Services Tax Payer
§ ITIP - Income Tax Instalment Payer
§ ITW - Income Tax Withholding
§ LCTP - Luxury Car Tax Payer
§ WETP - Wine Equalisation Tax Payer.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) role
Only the GSTP and ITW roles are required for CABEE.
Employment size ranges
For the purposes of CABEE, businesses are categorised as:
§ non-employing (i.e. having no employees)
§ 1-4 employees
§ 5-19 employees
§ 20-199 employees
§ 200+ employees.
The methods used to quantify employment for Australian businesses in ABS economic statistics are based on the concept of a headcount, rather than a measure of full-time equivalent persons. For further information, refer to paragraphs 39-43 of the Explanatory Notes.
In the non-profiled population, businesses with an active Income Tax Withholding (ITW) role are considered to be employing, resulting in some employing businesses having zero employment.
Employing businesses in the non-profiled population that have not remitted Business Activity Statement (BAS) data for their ITW role for five consecutive quarters (or three consecutive years for annual remitters) prior to the reference period are counted as non employing.
In the profiled population, all TAUs are considered to be employing (reflecting a point in time headcount of current employees).
This sector consists of all resident corporations and institutional units mainly engaged in financial intermediation and provision of auxiliary financial services.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a broad based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia. Most business entities are required to register for a GST role with the Australian Tax Office and report on GST collected and paid.
A business entity is said to have a Goods and Services Tax (GST) role if it has registered for GST. The ABS defines the role as active if the business has provided remittances to the ATO within the past five quarters (or three years for annual remitters), otherwise the role is inactive.
A household is a group of persons who share the same living accommodation, who pool some, or all, of their income and wealth and who consume certain types of goods and services collectively, mainly housing and food. Individual members of households are not treated as institutional units because many assets are owned (and liabilities incurred) jointly by two or more members of a household. Income can be pooled, and expenditure decisions are often made for the household as a whole. As a result, the household as a whole, including all individual members, is considered to be an institutional unit.
Where an unincorporated enterprise is entirely owned by a household, it is treated as an integral part of that household. Some members of households engage in market production through unincorporated enterprises such as sole proprietorships, partnerships and trusts. Partnerships can be comprised of partners belonging to different households.
The liability of the owners of unincorporated businesses is unlimited. As a result, these businesses are treated as household units since all the assets of the household, including the dwelling itself, are at risk if the enterprise goes bankrupt. The institutional unit of each household involved in the partnership therefore represents the individual members of the household as well as the share of the unincorporated partnership owned by each household.
For additional information refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia
(SESCA) (cat. no. 1218.0).
The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)
(cat. no. 1292.0) classifies business entities to an industry based on the business unit's dominant activity.
The main purpose of the industry division level is to provide a limited number of categories which give a broad overall picture of the economy. There are 19 divisions within ANZSIC06 each identified by an alphabetical letter, that is, A for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, B for Mining, C for Manufacturing, etc.
This is the broadest level category within an industry division of ANZSIC and is recognised by a two digit code, e.g. Industry Subdivision 39 for Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts Retailing. Industry subdivisions are built up from industry groups which, in turn, are built up from industry classes.
This is the intermediate level within an industry division of ANZSIC and is recognised by a three digit code, e.g. Industry Group 391 for Motor Vehicle Retailing and 392 for Motor Vehicle Parts and Tyre Retailing. It gives more detail than the industry subdivision and is created in a way that groups like industry classes together.
At the industry class level, the activities of businesses are narrowly defined and recognised by a four digit code, e.g. Industry Class 3911 for Car Retailing and 3912 for Motor Cycle Retailing.
The count of surviving businesses that moved into one size range out of another size range in a financial year (i.e. an employment or turnover size range). This does not include entries and exits.
Income Tax Withholding (ITW) role
A business which employs and pays a salary to (or plans to employ and pay a salary to) one or more persons, is required to register as such with the ATO. These businesses are required to withhold payments from salaries and wages from their employees and send the amounts to the ATO. Hence this is called an Income Tax Withholding (ITW) role.
Long Term Non Remitter (LTNR)
A business unit becomes a Long Term Non Remitter (LTNR) when it has not submitted BAS data for a period of 5 quarters (or 3 years for annual remitters). LTNR units are not included in CABEE.
Main business address
The main business address of a business relates to the physical address where the main business activity takes place. The individual addresses of businesses with multiple locations are not available.
For businesses in the non-profiled population, main state refers to the state or territory of the main business address. For businesses in the profiled population, main state refers to the state or territory where the business has the highest employment.
Net movement of surviving businesses
The net count of surviving businesses for each size range (i.e. employment or turnover size ranges). The net movement of surviving businesses is calculated by taking the total inflow at the end of the financial year minus the total outflow at the end of the financial year.
A business without an active Income Tax Withholding (ITW) role or which has not remitted ITW for five consecutive quarters (or three consecutive years for annual remitters) is counted as non-employing.
This sector comprises all resident corporations and quasi-corporations mainly engaged in the production of market goods and/or non-financial services.
The non-profiled population is one of the two business populations that make up the ABSBR. This population comprises the vast majority of businesses. Non-profiled businesses have simple structures that are suitable for ABS statistical purposes at the ABN level. For the non-profiled population, one ABN equates to one business. For more details, refer to paragraphs 5-9 of the Explanatory Notes.
Operating at end of financial year
The count of businesses operating at the end of the financial year, also referred to as closing stock.
Operating at start of financial year
The count of businesses operating at the beginning of the financial year, also referred to as opening stock.
The count of surviving businesses that have moved out of a size range (i.e. an employment or turnover size range) and into another size range (for employment or turnover). This does not include entries and exits.
The profiled population is one of the two business populations that make up the ABSBR. This population comprises a relatively small number of businesses that have large, complex structures that are not suitable for ABS statistical purposes at the ABN level. For the profiled population, the ABS maintains its own unit structure called a Type of Activity Unit (TAU) through direct contact with these businesses. OneTAU equates to one unit. For more details, refer to paragraphs 5-9 of the Explanatory Notes.
Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA)
The Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) is based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA08) institutional sector classification, and comprises the following sectors: non-financial corporations, financial corporations, general government, households, non-profit institutions serving households, and rest of the world. For more information, users should refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia
(SESCA) (cat. no. 1218.0).
Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2)
The Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) is a general purpose spatial unit. It is the base spatial unit used to disseminate ABS business counts data. In aggregate, SA2s cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. The whole of Australia is covered by 2,310 SA2s. Refer to paragraphs 34-36 of the Explanatory Notes.
CABEE small area data cubes have been released using SA2 as the base spatial unit since 2012.
A business which was actively trading at 30 June in the reference year and was also trading at
30 June in the previous year is considered a surviving business.
The total revenue generated by a business from the provision of goods and/or services for a given accounting period. In the CABEE publication, the turnover amounts relate to financial year periods. Refer to paragraphs 44-46 of the Explanatory Notes.
Type of Activity Unit (TAU)
The economic activity of units in the profiled population is grouped into Type of Activity Units (TAU). A TAU consists of one or more business entities, sub entities or branches of a business that can be grouped according to production activity and can report a minimum set of data items.
For further information, refer to paragraphs 5-9 of the Explanatory Notes.
Type Of Legal Organisation (TOLO)
All legal entities on the ABSBR are classified according to their Type Of Legal Organisation (TOLO). There are three types of legal organisation: Incorporated private sector entities, unincorporated private sector entities and public sector entities. TOLO indicates whether a business is part of the private or public sector, and the type of ownership structure it has. For more information, users should refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia
(SESCA) (cat. no. 1218.0).
An unincorporated entity is an entity that has not become a corporation under the Corporations Act 2001
. Unincorporated entities do not possess a separate legal identity to that of their owner(s).